PAUL TRACY, 10 OTHERS TEST AT MIS IN PREPARATION FOR GFS MARKETPLACE 400 WEEKEND BROOKLYN, Mich. - Paul Tracy might have 15 years of open-wheel experience under his belt, including 11 starts at Michigan International Speedway, but on Monday he...
PAUL TRACY, 10 OTHERS TEST AT MIS IN PREPARATION FOR GFS MARKETPLACE 400 WEEKEND
BROOKLYN, Mich. - Paul Tracy might have 15 years of open-wheel experience under his belt, including 11 starts at Michigan International Speedway, but on Monday he might as well been a rookie as he made his first appearance in a stock car in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series test at MIS in a Richard Childress Racing prepared car.
Tracy, along with 10 other NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series teams tested in preparation for the upcoming GFS Marketplace 400 and Domino's Pizza 250 race weekend at MIS. He is expected to return next weekend to attempt to qualify the #33 Chevrolet for the GFS Marketplace 400 on August 21. Tracy felt comfortable in the car despite his lack of experience in stock cars and performed well during the first day of the two-day test.
Tracy started out the day learning from Richard Childress Racing driver Kevin Harvick, who shook down the #33 before turning the wheel over to the 2003 Champ Car World Series Champion.
"It's a lot different from what I do. To go out on fresh tires and really lean on it hard, sometimes to the point where I don't know exactly how far I can push it, is still an area to learn," said Tracy. "But that last long run was good. It was consistent and I was able to play with the line and run a consistent time the whole time and everyone was happy with it so it was a good run. Tomorrow morning we'll try to run it a little harder on fresh tires. But I'm happy. I'm just trying to take it one step at a time and not force the car past its limits."
Tracy, who has raced in 11 career open-wheel events at MIS since 1991, still holds the open-wheel qualifying record of 234.949 mph, which he set in July of 2000. His highest finish at MIS came in 1992 when he placed second. He currently sits second in the latest Champ Car point standings and is the leader amongst active drivers with 30 career victories.
Other drivers who completed laps on the MIS oval included Dale Jarrett in the #88 UPS Ford, Jeremy Mayfield in the #19 UAW/Dodge Dealers Dodge, Sterling Marlin in the #40 Coors Light Dodge and Carl Edwards, who tested his Busch Series car, the #60 Charter Communications Ford.
The list also included NASCAR Busch Series drivers, with Paul Menard in the #11 Menard's Chevrolet, J.J. Yeley in the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin in the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet, Ashton Lewis Jr. in the #25 U.S. Marines Ford, Reed Sorenson in the #41 Discount Tire Dodge and Justin Labonte in the #44 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet. All 10 drivers will be competing in the August 19-21 event weekend, which includes the NASCAR Busch Series Domino's Pizza 250 racing on Saturday, August 20, and the GFS Marketplace 400 on Sunday, August 21.
No speeds were reported on Monday with most of the teams continuing to test Tuesday during the two-day MIS test session.
Fans can view testing by visiting the viewing area near the MIS administration building off the main U.S. 12 entrance to the track. The MIS viewing area will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and tickets for August 19-21 activities will be available for purchase in the MIS ticket office inside the administration building.
Tickets are still available for the NASCAR Busch Series Domino's Pizza 250 on Saturday, August 20, and the ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200 on Friday, August 19. Children 12 and under admitted free to both events. Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series activities include NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series qualifying, along with a concert by the country sensation Sugarland following the Domino's Pizza 250. All tickets can be purchased now by visiting www.MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.